Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


Max (Mordechai, Motek) Kompaneyets

Born in 1905 in Warsaw, Poland. Parents -- the Yiddish actors Aba and Leah Kompaneyets. Received a good education. Being in a theatre family, he was raised to act in Yiddish theatre. In 1928 he was taken into the Yiddish Artists Union in Warsaw, after taking exams, and since then he acted in his father's troupe, at first in Poland, and then in Paris where he, as a victim of his suffering during the Nazi rule, died on 6 January 1949.

Borvine Frenkel writes that in the first days of the Second World War, K. entered into the French Army as a volunteer, and during his return train trip in Belgium, he fell into German captivity, where he managed to escape. On 6 January 1941 he was arrested by the Nazis and transported to Germany, where he worked in hard labor, hunger and brutal conditions were brought upon his health, and after ten months of suffering, he was sent away to France, where he immediately included himself in the local Maquis (resistance) movement and displayed numerous devotional activities, ready to make sacrifices. He also reached the rank of lieutenant(?), but the torture that he suffered from the Nazis led to his death.

The same writer also remarks:

"With the death of actor Max Kompaneyets, the name of Kompaneyets becomes washed away from the Yiddish stage, the name that, in the span of countless years, was associated with Yiddish popular theatre, popular in the true sense of the word, and


his fate wished that both his father Aba Kompaneyets, and also his son, should be buried in the same grave in Paris -- in the Paris that still gave the final radiance, and subsequently the destruction of he who was the famous director of the 'Muranow Theatre'  ... Max was the true child of Yiddish theatre, and he undertook many excursions throughout the countless cities and states, with the authentic "blondzhendike stars" ... for which there was performed the essence of his life".

According to Z. Zylbercweig, k. was a perceptive, Jewish intellectual.

On 30 January 1945 in Mexico, in the locale of the Jewish Folks League, there was a tribute given with a Yiddish production, staged by his sister Betty.

Sh. E. from his sister Borisovo.

  • Bor-fren -- Es iz oysgeloshn gevorn a namen, "Frayvelt", Mexico, 28 January 1949.






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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 4, page 2685.

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